Sunday, January 1, 2012

not easy, but worth it.

for your visual pleasure i have provided you this graphic to illustrate my changes in the last year. however, as you can see, i haven't aged much. in fact, i feel like i look a bit younger now. i'm sure my new pigtails help with the smallish-child image, as that is the only hairdo i can manage these days. but, despite my pigtails and youthful vigor, i am in fact a whopping 18 years old and i am in fact a college student and i have, in fact, just started living what i hope to call the best year of my life yet.
well, i just wrote a sentence stating that the eighth grade was the best year of my life (what year was that? 2007?) but then i realized that it was by no means by best (though i did have all the boys after me that year, for the only time in my life) it was the easiest. i have the tendency--i think we all have this tendency--to equate "good" years, months, days and weeks with "easy" ones. what an unfortunate way to think. i don't know about you, but i would rate many more of my days as "hard" than "easy", but a vast majority of my days are definitely in the category of "good". i don't have that many bad days. i think we should let go of this rating system we have where we yearn and wish for easy, sunshine-filled days and instead cherish the days that are the most rewarding.
my high school years were devastatingly hard at times but they were also absolutely incredible and rewarding. so was this year.
although at times 2011 proved to be impossibly hard, i have grown more this year than any of my past ones. last year i wrote that it was the year that i would start to tie up my loose ends and all the lessons i had learned from my trials and begin to build a better me. and i have. it was a transition year full of brand new experiences and i am proud of how i have started to live the lessons learned instead of just learning them. i realized that growth could be a choice, not just forced, and that it is much more peaceful that way.
i graduated high school, and that wasn't easy, but it was rewarding. i said goodbye to my best friend while he went to serve a mission for two years, but his letters have enriched my life more than i would have ever imagined. i lost a family that i had grown accustomed to but i gained six new family members, and that is still hard, but rewarding. i moved out on my own and i have to actually go to the grocery store and spend my own money on vegetables, and that is not easy. i have to go to the library until two a.m. sometimes, but in the end, i get the grades. nothing has been easy. but it all has been worth it.
i've grown up. a lot. and i still have a lot to do before i can comfortably call myself an adult, and that's okay. i'm cherishing my time as a child. i've got to keep these pigtails as long as i can.
it's okay to be glad that 2011 is over. i know a lot of people who are. but before you write it off as the worst, take a second. remember the times you grew. you learned. you added light to your soul. the times you smiled, even through the heartache. it may have been the hardest. but i hope that you can say that it was worth it.
i'm glad all the hard years have happened to me. without them, i wouldn't be me. and i like me.
so here's to 2012, a new beginning.
for some of us, it may be simple. for some of us, it may be complicated.
for all of us, may we grow, learn, and smile. may it be worth it.
and may we always continue to keep climbing a little higher.

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you look really good today!